“Its sahog… are plentiful and its broth very delectable.” This is the best batchoy I have ever tasted! I silently exclaimed mindful of the other customers in the airconditioned branch of Deco’s in La Paz, Iloilo. It must be the hunger and weariness of lugging my things while walking a good distance in downtown Iloilo City. Bernie, who met me at the pier took me here when I said that I want to have a good batchoy in La Paz. Its sahog of entrails, chicharon and scallions are plentiful and its broth very delectable.
There is a small debate, I was told, about the first batchoy in La Paz, Iloilo. There are two contenders: Ted’s and Deco. Both started out as a small eatery in the 30’s. However, Bernie said that the latter is the original. Ted’s has been transformed into a franchise that can now be found in major malls in the country. As for Deco’s, the rights and recipe were bought and developed by Edgar Sia II, the successful young businessman who also owns the Mang Inasal franchise.
Looking at the menu, I was a bit intrigued with one item: prewar pandesal (from the Spanish pan de sal, salted bread, a common breakfast staple). We ordered four and when it was placed at our table, I was amused. It is small and compared with the regular pandesal, its not light but very compact. The taste, though, is still the same.
Despite it’s size, its very filling. Just dip it in the broth and enjoy your noodles. The special batchoy costs P50 (a little over $1) while the prewar pandesal is P1.50 (3 cents).
With Deco’s now starting to be franchised, it will just be a few months that one can already sample this noodle dish at the malls. By then, I just hope that the quality will not suffer.
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